All of the Walt Disney World deluxe resorts are nothing short of amazing. They all have incredible amenities, recreation activities, and services, and they are perfectly themed to meet the vision the Imagineers had to create an immersive experience for all of us guests. I don’t think there is a deluxe resort that wouldn’t be worth staying at, but here are the ones that I consider to be the top stays if you are having trouble deciding where to visit:
5 – Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge is an incredibly stunning resort nestled amongst lush trees and a serenity that can’t be found anywhere else on property. The lodge is massive and sits 5 stories tall, and offers impressive views of the grounds. The theme for the resort is that of a lodge from the Pacific Northwest. There is a strong Indian influence incorporated into the design details and the story behind the resort. If you can believe it, Wilderness Lodge is also the lowest price of the deluxe resorts, which makes it a value if you want the deluxe resort experience that is still a little more budget-conscious. One thing that Wilderness Lodge has that no other location on property can offer is the opportunity to look at some of the trains from Walt Disney’s personal collection. The Carolwood Pacific room is home to these amazing trains on display, as well as a great place to lounge with the family and play various board games. There is also a fantastic pool, a real geyser modeled after Old Faithful, fun recreational activities, and amazing dining options. Artist Point has one of Disney’s best character dining experiences, and Whispering Canyon Café is an incredibly notorious restaurant for the fun antics that the cast members create during the meal. This one is definitely an amazing trip to the wilderness. Read 8 amazing things about Wilderness Lodge for more information.
4 – Yacht & Beach Resort
This is really two resorts in one! Each has a little bit of a different feel depending on which part of the resort you are staying in, but they share a lot of the same amenities. If you are staying at either of the resorts, it is effortless to enjoy the dining options that are located at the other resort, so you expand the number of dining options right at your fingertips. The location of these resorts in proximity to the Boardwalk also gives you more options and great nightlife to enjoy that is only a walk or boat ride away! The resorts are perfectly themed with beach and nautical décor in every detail. The pool here is one of the most popular pools on property. It is so popular that the rules for accessing the pool are extremely strict since many guests try to venture over to this pool when it is only open for resorts of Yacht & Beach. The pool is like a waterpark all in itself. You have a ship as one of the focal points, which you climb into, and it actually leads you up to a really fun waterslide. The pool is enormous, plus there is a lazy river and a water play place. The resort has all of this plus is super close to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which are accessible via boat or a walk.
3 – Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you haven’t been over to visit Animal Kingdom Lodge, then you need to add this to your must-see list for your next stay. Animal Kingdom Lodge is impressive from the moment you lay eyes on the resort, and it just gets better and better. The lobby is 6 floors tall, and every square inch is perfectly themed with African-inspired décor and features. From the lobby and many of the guest rooms, you can see the beautiful animals that call the African savanna their home. It so awesome to see these fantastic animals up close and interacting with the other animals in the environment. Once you check-in and get your activities guide, you will be in awe at all of the activities, events, and unique experiences that you can have right at the resort. If you have animal lovers in your group, then this is definitely the resort for you. The pools (yes, there are multiple) are each a true oasis. Between all of the amenities, activities, and the comfortable beauty of the resort, you won’t ever want to leave. You are also just a hop, skip and a jump away from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, so you can get to the park in a speedy bus ride. I definitely need another stay very soon! Here are 10 more reasons you will love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
2 – Grand Floridian Resort
I don’t think anyone can argue that the Grand Floridian is the most prestigious and elegant resort on property. This resort truly has everything that you can imagine to have a vacation in luxury, including the famous wedding pavilion. There is a spa, numerous restaurants (including Victoria & Albert’s, one of the highest-ranked restaurants in all of Florida), fantastic recreation and boating options, a salon, shopping, and orchestra that performs nightly and so much more. This is also the only resort on property where every guest room receives turndown service each night with a treat on the pillow. This resort is the epitome of class, which is why so many guests keep coming back time and time again. It is white, pristine, and perfect. The Grand Floridian is also located in the Magic Kingdom resort area on the monorail track, so you have the monorail as added transportation to the park, as well as boat transportation to Magic Kingdom and the other resorts in the area. The new walkway to Magic Kingdom is an added bonus. The stays are the resort are among the most expensive in all of Walt Disney World, but once you step foot in the lobby, it becomes easy to see why it is well worth it, and it is such a desirable, dream stay!
1 – Polynesian Village Resort
Editor’s Note: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is currently closed and undergoing refurbishment. It is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2021. The Polynesian Villas & Bungalows (Disney Vacation Club rooms) are open for guests.
This is not only my absolute favorite resort, but it is also one of the two resorts that opened with Disney World first opened (The Contemporary Resort was the other one). The Polynesian Village Resort really does instantly make you feel like you have been transported to an island paradise. Everything about the resort is stunning, and the ’70s-feeling tropical décor across all of the longhouses is perfect. The dining options are fantastic, there is a nightly luau-style dinner show, and you can even get the Dole Whip (yes, that is right, you can get the famous Dole Whip from the resort without going to the Magic Kingdom). The pool is a zero-entry pool right next to the volcano water slide and the fantastic water play place for the kids. Not only does it have all of that, but the pool faces the beautiful beach area with a view of Cinderella’s Castle in the background. I don’t think anything can beat that view. This pool is the other pool on property that has strict rules regarding accessing the pool to stop all of the other guests that try to crash the pool. Check your activities guide when you check-in, as you can also take hula lessons and experience several other fun activities during your stay. We love everything about the resort and have a hard time venturing to other resorts! Aloha!
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